Local historian Trevor Temple chronicles the individuals associated with Londonderry who lost their lives in WWI.
Carter, Private Thomas, 6033
Thomas Carter, 1st Battalion Hampshire Regiment, was born at North Heath, Berkshire, England, enlisted at Basingstoke, and died on May 4, 1915.
He was the husband of Mrs Carter, 35, Glasgow Terrace, Londonderry, and his name is recorded on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.
Lieutenant Colonel F.R. Hicks, Commanding Officer of the 1st Hampshires, has described the actions of the battalion in the days leading up to the demise of Private Carter: ‘On May 1st and 2nd the shelling was very heavy again and the enemy’s trenches in front of us were being reinforced. We retorted by starting a sap on our right front towards the Buffs wood, – Buffs had relieved the Royal Fusiliers and putting out a more forward post on our right. But it was evidence now that our position was untenable.
‘The French efforts to recover the ground they had lost north of us had failed and we were warned to prepare plans for withdrawal to a new line shortening the salient. Only it seemed very doubtful whether we should be able to effect the withdrawal without hard fighting.
‘On May 3rd the German artillery surpassed itself. They poured tons of metal on our trenches and all the ground behind and this went on till after 3, when they made their first attack on the Buffs wood. In spite of the terrific bombardment they had undergone, the Buffs drove it back supported by rifle and machine-gun fire from our trenches.
‘Again the Germans concentrated their gun fire on the Buffs wood and hardly a tree was left standing. The remainder of the Buffs drifted away to their support trench. By 5 o’clock the enemy had gained the wood and turned their main attention on us. On the right and left they were reported closing up and even the dreaded gas apparatus was seen being set up. Perhaps the wind was wrong, anyway the gas failed to appear and the attack when it did come was feeble in the extreme. It was met by C and D Coys with ease and driven back decisively and not repeated. But Captain Twining was killed and our casualties this day were heavy.
‘During the afternoon we got our order to retire and evacuate the line altogether. At 10.30 half the battalion on left and Major Palk remained to cover the retirement.
‘At midnight the rest followed, except a few picked men who stayed to bluff the enemy a little longer. Everyone got away safely. It was a fine performance. There was much crowding along the shell swept road...for this was a general retirement along the front of several miles, all confined to one road, or the fields alongside. But there was never any confusion or excitement. The machine guns and even our tools were carried back many miles.
‘By daylight on the 4th we were across the Yser Canal, fortunate in having escaped casualties during the retirement, though there were many narrow escapes. Heavy rain came on... About 5 a.m. we halted in a field, very wet and very tired, some miles behind the canal, but not out of shell fire as we soon found. But there was hot tea waiting for us there – hot tea after nine days! We tried to sleep a little but some French heavies in a field alongside began to fire and suddenly the air was smitten again with the horrid sound of bursting Jack Johnsons. They fell both side of a hedge along which our men were lying, but again we escaped a casualty and moved off a bit and little later got into a large park with shady trees to hide us from aeroplanes.
‘A glorious fine day, and all through this trying time the weather was superb, gave us a chance to clean up a bit and a thunder shower in the evening washed some of the dirt off our clothes. We moved again at night two miles further back, where so far we have escaped the shells. The fine day and warm nights with the addition of Lieutenant Cromie and another draft of 50 men have restored our energy and nearly brought up our numbers again, though we can do with more officers and especially some senior ones; as there are very few now with more than a few months service.
‘Our casualties have been 6 officers killed, 5 wounded, 92 other ranks killed and 227 wounded. Unfortunately the killed were all buried near the remains of a small farm, almost a mile north of Zonnebeke and the graves marked as carefully as possible...’
Adams, Captain John Goold
Captain John Goold Adams, 1st Battalion Leinster Regiment, was born on October 10, 1883, and died in action at the Second Battle of Ypres, on Wednesday, May 5, 1915.
1st Battalion Leinster Regiment were stationed at Fyzabad, India, when the Great War began in August 1914. They embarked for the UK from Bombay, arriving at Plymouth on November 16, 1914, and then moved to Morne Hill, Manchester, to join the 82nd Brigade of the 27th Division. They mobilised for war, and on December 20, 1914, landed at Le Havre.
The battalion relieved the Cameron Highlanders at St Elois – a village which lay at the junction of the two main roads from Ypres to Armentieres and Warneton – on January 12, 1915, and were first drawn into serious action two months later on March 14. On that date, the Germans launched an attack against the 27th Division holding the trenches east of St Eloi. Under cover of a mist the Germans brought up a tremendous force of artillery, and at 5 p.m. suddenly attacked the British trenches.
The Germans succeeded for a time in capturing British trenches and the village itself. A counter-attack, which led to the recapture of St Elois was organised by the General Officer Commanding 82nd Brigade, under orders of the General Officer Commanding 27th Division.
The first assault was launched by the 82nd Brigade at 2 a.m. on the 15th, when it was discovered that the Germans had already erected barricades across the village streets defended by machine guns. Each of these positions had to be stormed one by one, making the job of recapturing a costly business. The British charging time after time gradually forced the Germans back.
The successful action against the Germans brought praise for showing ‘a bold front under very trying circumstances...’ Among the 1st Leinsters who died was Captain Herbert Travers Radcliff.
The Battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel A. B. Prowse, wrote: ‘He was holding a trench which had a garrison of thirty men, and which was attacked by 100 Germans at, or soon after dawn. He was killed instantaneously by a bullet which struck him in the head, and could have suffered no pain. I may add that the Germans were beaten off with a loss of 34 killed alone. ...’
The following month, on April 22, the 82nd Brigade, as part of the 27th Division, was somewhat to the south-east of Ypres, holding a line which stretched from near Gheluvelt to Hill 60. They were in the line for two weeks, and the 1st Leinster’s War Diary is sketchy during this period, as the battalion constructed the new line as the salient was reduced after the first German gas attacks.
John Goold Adams was the only son of the Venerable John Michael Goold-Adams, Archdeacon of Derry, and rector of Clonleigh, and Emma (nee McClintock). He was in addition brother of Dorothea Georgina Smyth (born May 21, 1881), Ardmore, Londonderry, and Margaret Alice Adams (born April 29, 1887).
Captain Goold Adams’ name is inscribed on St Columb’s Cathedral (Church of Ireland) Memorial to the men connected to that cathedral who died during the 1914-18 War, and listed on All Saints’ Church (Church of Ireland), Clooney Parish, 1914-18 Roll of Honour.
His name is also recorded on the famous Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ieper, West Vlaanderen, Belgium, and the Diamond War Memorial.
Though only 31 years of age when killed, Captain Goold-Adams had seen much service.
Selecting the army for his career in his youth, he duly passed through Sandhurst College, and received his commission in the 1st Leinsters. Subsequently, he was accepted for duty in Nigeria, where he remained several years. In the autumn of 1913 he was married to Miss Irene Biddulph, second daughter of Mr and Mrs Assheton-Biddulph, Moneyguyneen, Kinnity, King’s County. Some time afterwards he went to India on duty, returning home on the outbreak of hostilities to serve in his regiment at the Front.
A couple of months before his death he was slightly wounded, but soon recovered in a hospital at Le Havre, and rejoined his regiment. Captain Goold-Adams was well-known in the city of Londonderry, where he spent his childhood.
At a meeting of the Derry and Raphoe Diocesan Council, held on Wednesday, May 26, 1915 – Archdeacon Goold-Adams (father of Captain Goold-Adams) presiding – the Reverend Canon Warren proposed the following resolution in connection with the death of Captain Goold-Adams: ‘We, the members of the Derry and Raphoe Diocesan Council, desire to express our sincere sympathy to the Archdeacon of Derry and Reverend Canon R. G. S. King, and to the members of their families, in their recent sad bereavement caused by the death in war of Captain John Goold-Adams and Second Lieutenant King, and we request our secretary to convey our vote of condolence to them.’
Captain John Goold-Adams’ father, John Michael Goold-Adams, was born in Kingston, the son of William Goold-Adams, a physician, and entered Trinity College, Dublin, on November 1, 1870, at the age of sixteen. He was ordained as deacon, on September 12, 1875, in the diocese of Kilmore. The following year he came as curate to the parish of Taughboyne, and from there went to St Columb’s Cathedral, Londonderry, in 1878, where he remained curate for about three years before being appointed vicar of All Saints’ Church, Clooney, Londonderry, in 1881.
There he stayed until 1914, when the parish of Clonleigh became vacant, and he was appointed its rector. In 1920 he resigned from this post, and in the following year he also retired from the Archdeaconry of Derry, to which he had succeeded Archdeacon Colquhoun in 1914. He died at Liverpool on July 17, 1922.
During his lifetime the Reverend Goold-Adams also acted as chaplain to the workhouse and to the troops at Ebrington Barracks in Londonderry. He acted in a similar capacity to the Lord Lieutenant from 1901-1905, to Primate Alexander from 1906 till his death, and to Bishop Chadwick.
He was one of the examining chaplains to the Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Dr Peacocke, and was canon of St Columb’s Cathedral, Londonderry, from 1893 till 1914. He married Emma McClintock, daughter of Robert McClintock of Dunmore, Co. Donegal, who predeceased him by about thirty years. His daughter, Dorothea, married a Mr Smyth, of Ardmore, and moved to Argentina. She was visiting her father when he passed away.